Different Education Systems Cause Cultural Conflicts By Abu Bakar Mohammad Safwan
Education is the soul of the nation. They learn from every stage of life and experience. Education can be achieved in two ways, in non formal way like from family, peers, entourage etc. and in formal way which is conducted by educational institutions like school, college etc. Formal education can play a key role in bringing national solidarity. It works to fulfill social needs. According to Durkheim, society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity and education perpetuates it and serves for bringing this homogeneity. It has also been stressed that moral values are the foundation of the society and education plays the role to flourish it in the society. It proves that education and society are interconnected. Furthermore any change in education system can bring changes in the society. Because education is to lead out the soul of human being, it shapes human behavior by which it changes and reforms the social structure. And education system is built based on a curriculum where goals and objectives of education, methods, teaching-learning process and outcome, all are predetermined. Education system engages to fulfill curriculum’s demand and follow it, so that it ultimately leads to outcomes (students) like what curriculum wants from its perspectives. What if there are several education systems and the outcome of goal, objective, teaching system is also different?
Every education system gives lesson from its own views, which is able to inculcate its respective values, aspect and mentality into child. Children’s socialization process is also solemnized while retaining its own faith and individualism; which is totally distinctive and isolated from others. So children get ready to bring up a culture and life style as such which eventually doesn’t match to those of others. For instance, English medium students’ thinking, dress up, way of welcoming and venerating, professional interest, even meaning of life is attributable. They also tend to western culture and feel comport to celebrate especial days as like as English and consider it as icon. That’s also liable for emerging a distinction among people because all are not able to get their child admitted to English medium schools. High cost of education may not be feasible to all parents; where average cost of per child attending primary school consists of almost 26.62% of the yearly income of per person in general, (Ahmed-2007). Similarly, most children of the Middle Class of urban and rural area go to the general or mainstream education system i.e. primary, secondary, higher secondary school and university. So children from all stages of the society don’t get an access to an expensive education system as such and the former also don’t get an opportunity to engage to a large section of the society. Therefore, culture and values one student is differ from another and emerges as a cultural clash among them. So the process how they are followed and curriculum what they are taught and ultimate shape of thought what have been given is different from English Medium School. Moreover, Madrasha Education system i.e. Alia Madrasha is also different from other education systems existed in Bangladesh and its curriculum is also built up by way of conciliation between General Curriculum and Curriculum based on Religion. So, their shape of thought is also different from the others. There is also another education system namely Qaomi Madrasha which is governed by independent and private Education Board. There academic system, curriculum and method of education and area, field of work are also different from others. The students admitted, learned and taught in these different education systems make their thought different which causes conflict of thought, belief and so on and ultimately, it hits the cultural conflict among the students.
Culture is considered as for the development of the spiritual nature of man (J. K. Mackenzie). Culture can be differentiated into two types, materials (what human being make and use) and non- materials (which is consists of human values, belief and criterion to give worth of behaviors). Both of them convey very influential message to the society and future generation. In causing alternation non materials culture (belief, values, and norms), schools’ role playing is the major contributor. That’s basically happening by educational development and its view of measuring things and behavioral expression. So, whenever educational institutions are not established in the same values, norms and points of views and the lesson which is root to construct belief and values given to the learners and society, then it cultural conflicts may be emerged in the same society because of the discord of minds and contrasting culture prevailing in the same society.
William F. Ogbarn used the term ‘Cultural lag’ to describe the phenomenon that when new patterns of behavior emerges, it conflicts with the traditional values. This phenomenon is now visible in our society. Because standard level, qualifications, process of teaching-learning, patterns of behavior, values, norms, even cultural parts of educational institutions of all stage of the society can’t cope with all and a section of people are lagging behind in socio-economic and cultural development; causing a disintegration between their cultures.
Nowadays, education is not confined within institutions. As this is the era of science and technology, mass media is an inseparable part of our life and play a significant role in forming and influencing people’s attitudes and behaviors. Whatever happens at the mass level must be complemented and supported at a grass roots level for any long- term behavioral change to occur (Julie Urquhart- 1994:18). Moreover research shows that at least in the short term television viewing of such programs may increase children’s and young people’s knowledge and positively change attitudes and behaviors. So, mass media and online programs have been matter of concern of educational and also cultural development. That can assist in teaching children and young people. By this way, people are also getting educated and bring changes in values and attitudes; furthermore, it has been an influential part of children’s socialization and life style. And mass media is not limited to national level, that’s access level is throughout the world. Thus, it is creating a great impact on our education and child socialization as well as our culture. At least, external culture intrudes into ours; celebration of birthday, Valentine’s day etc. That is not part of our culture anyhow. One time, love marriage was considered negatively in society but now it is being well appropriated gradually. A dazzling example is that ‘sari’ and ‘lungi’ (dress) are being ignored by Bengali people thinly. So culture and education are spreading out through mass media in the same way and that is causing altering values, attitudes and life styles which is the part of our culture and ultimately our own culture being attracted by others. So, chime in education system and its culture and telecast of indigenous cultural programs have been precondition for cultural harmony and national solidarity.
The author is an undergraduate student at the University of Dhaka.